Poland: proposed regulations look bad for PV

Project developers and PV companies in mature European markets have been eyeing Poland for some time as a potential emerging market for growth.

Currently relying on coal-fired generation capacity and a need to add new renewables under European Union law, Poland has long been thought to have a great potential. However the cash strapped Polish government is looking for the lowest cost renewable option, potentially leaving PV out in the cold.

PolandÂ’s Ministry of Economy presented the proposed draft law for renewable energy on September 17. In it, a new Green Certificate regime, a tender for three installation sizes and a form of FIT for micro installations was unveiled.

In the proposed legislation and regime, PV will essentially have to compete purely on price with renewable energy sources such as on-shore wind and biogas. "It is not to be expected that PV plants will receive much support under these schemes," says Anna Poblocka from Eclareon consulting.

"The main goal of the Polish government regarding renewable energy is to reach the 2020 goal of 19% of renewable electricity with the lowest costs possible," Poblocka told pv magazine.

For new installations and renewable energy projects, a tender program will be introduced, with bidders competing primarily on price, although Eclareon notes that stability of supply may also be a factor in the tender selection process. The budget of the tender process will be capped, limiting the draw on the stretched Polish governmental finances.

A special body, the Renewable Energy Vendor, the Sprzedawca Energii Odnawialnej or SEO, will administrate the tender process. The tenders for renewable developments will be divided into three capacity categories, up to 40 kW, between 40 kW and 1 MW and above 1 MW.

For micro installations, those under 40 kW, the proposed regulations represent a simplification of the administrative requirements. A proxy FIT will be paid for electricity fed into the grid by these installations, equaling 80% of the average electricity price of the previous year.

The new renewable energy legislations is expected to be adopted by the end of 2013, coming into affect in 2014.